Dramatists Guild Fund

#5Q4F 2014: Gabriel Dean, Playwright

Credits include: Javaaneh (IN BLOOM)Qualities of StarlightPIGSKIN.


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  • Who do you look to for inspiration?

The people in the room making the play are my biggest source of my inspiration. It’s quite galvanizing and inspiring when a bunch of people get together and all say, “YES! Let’s tell this story in the very best way we can.”  I’m pretty much addicted to collaboration.  I read a lot of poems.  Also, I really like art galleries.  There’s usually a lot of space to ruminate there.

  •      What’s the best (or worst) job not related to your career you ever had?

Being a real estate agent. I started doing it as a part-time job to supplement my income as a writer/actor in Atlanta and then it swiftly took over my life. I was doing it when the market was really booming (remember that?) and so I got addicted to a nice balance in my bank account. I was occasionally acting, but not writing at all.  By year four, I was miserable. And so my partner, Jessie, set up a room in our house just for my writing: a big table with a comfy chair, my favorite books, my laptop, freshly sharpened pencils and eerily white paper waiting for words. She said, “I made this for you. Don’t come out till you’ve written a play.” Talk about inspiration! And we’ve been broke and I’ve been writing ever since. 

  •      Where would you rather be if you couldn’t be here doing this?

If I couldn’t be sitting around a table, eating pizza and reading new pages with my esteemed fellow DG Fellows, I’d rather be in Austin, TX playing putt-putt with Jessie at Peter Pan golf, followed by swimming at Barton Springs and tacos. Can you tell I miss living in Austin?

  •      When did you decide you were going to take over the universe?

At this time, I have no plans to take over the universe. But stay tuned.  That could change. As of now, I’m still trying to figure out to get anywhere in NYC in less than an hour by train.

  •      Why would you ever stop writing, if you ever stopped writing?

Bottom line: as long as I’m sentient, I don’t think I’ll ever stop writing.  But for real, sometimes being a playwright is crazy discouraging.

So many people have to say yes in order for my work to be fully realized.  Sure, the process of writing in and of itself is extremely gratifying. But is that enough?   Because I’m not a wealthy dude. I don’t need to be a wealthy dude. Really I just want to be able to play putt-putt, swim and eat tacos and buy food for my dogs.  So…pay me, friends!  And I’ll keep writing. A secret: I’ll keep writing even if you don’t pay me. I just won’t share it with you anymore.  Is that wrong of me? Yeah, probably. I don’t know. Oh my god, next question!!!!

Bonus Question: How do you measure, measure a year? 

Thank you for making me hear this lovely, life-affirming song in my head. I measure the year in tacos.


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This entry was posted on March 27, 2014 by in 5Q4F, DGFellows and tagged , .
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